University Benchmarks

Ranking the Top 100 Academic Universities ranks the universities that attract and produce the best academic students.

There are many 'University Rankings' on the internet. Most rankings rely heavily on subjective metrics like 'reputation' and 'selectivity'. UniversityBenchmarks is purely an academic ranking model. The rankings are based on the reported academic and financial metrics of the colleges. There are no subjective factors like 'reputation' that are used. The calculations are performed using normal statistical models. All universities are considered equal and there is no weighting of the ranking categories.

The university 2014-2015 dataset is comprised of over 2400 US Universities & Colleges and comes from multiple sources using the most favorable reported metrics for a university.

The universities are ranked against each other in each filtered set. It is an iterative process whereby lower ranking universities are removed and the set is re-ranked until the final set of 100 is reached.

Selecting 'Rank Top 10 Only' will show the Top 10 for each filter category ranked against each other.

The academic rankings of the universities within the major conferences (ACC, Big12, Big10, Pac12, SEC) are available.

The 2017 rankings will be available in August.

  • It is possible for universities to be ranked higher/lower than one another depending on the filter set.
  • Conference averages are based on the top 8 schools in the conference.
  • Public Schools are highlighted
  • Clicking on the university's seal icon will take you to the university's website.

Ranking Fields

Rank - Overall rank based on the average of the ranking fields (Scores, Difficulty, Smartest, Brainpower, Faculty and Research).

Scores - SAT & ACT scores. The university's test scores are corrected for dropout rate when score level is Good, Excellent or Elite. This will slightly boost scores for highly competitive schools.

Difficulty - Academic rigor is estimated based on how difficult it is to get an "A" at the university. An estimated GPA at the university is calculated for the average US Student. University grade inflation, average GPA, and STEM density are factors.

Smartest - University that can field the highest scoring students based on the average US University size. Higher Smartest Rank = "Smartest for the Average University"

Brainpower - The average "smartest" rank using 5 reference populations (CalTech, MIT, Stanford, GaTech and Berkeley). Higher Brainpower Rank = "Higher Density of Smart Students". The university ranked higher can mathematically field 'X' number of smarter students than universities ranked below them.

Faculty - Ranking based on number of % of faculty with awards and academy membership.

Research - Ranking is achieved by iteratively ranking the average of 3 research metrics (r-pop, r-stem, r-other ). The lowest ranked college is then removed and the new set is re-ranked. The result is the schools with potentially the strongest research environments per student bubble up to the top regardless of size or research budget.

  • r-pop - Average research spending for student population
  • r-stem - STEM research spending
  • r-other - Other/Medical/Health research spending

Salary ROI - "Salary Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. Using the undergraduate average starting and mid-career salaries, the rank is based on a 20yr salary accumulation (with raises) minus the cost of a 4 year education at the university. Salaries are normalized across the country using the average COLA for the university's geo-economic region (7 regions total). The COLA effect is diminished by the level of the university. Elite, Excellent and Good universities have a greater distribution of graduates across the country and a diminishing COLA effect. The resultant value would be the graduate's spending potential over the 20yr period.

Overall ROI - "Overall Return on Investment" is not used in the overall ranking but is provided for additional information. The average of Overall Rank and Salary ROI. This would be the "Best academic bang for the buck". Colleges that produce the best education, at the best price, with the best return will be ranked higher.

Color Key - ranks are colorized as follows 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 50 100

The 2016 University Academic Rankings

University of Pennsylvania

2016 University Academic Rankings

CampusUrban, 1,094 acres (4.43 km2) total: 302 acres (1.22 km2), University City campus; 700 acres (2.8 km2), New Bolton Center; 92 acres (0.37 km2), Morris Arboretum

The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn or UPenn) is a private, Ivy League, doctorate-granting university located in Philadelphia. Incorporated as The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities and one of the nine original colonial colleges. Penn is one of several universities that claims to be the first university in the United States of America.

Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder, advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology although Franklin's curriculum was never adopted. The university coat of arms features a dolphin on the red chief, adopted directly from the Franklin family's own coat of arms. Penn was one of the first academic institutions to follow a multidisciplinary model pioneered by several European universities, concentrating multiple "faculties" (e.g., theology, classics, medicine) into one institution. It was also home to many other educational innovations. The first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), the first collegiate business school (Wharton School of Business, 1881) and the first "student union" building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896) were all born at Penn.

Penn offers a broad range of academic departments, an extensive research enterprise and a number of community outreach and public service programs. It is particularly well known for its medical school, dental school, design school, business school, law school, engineering school, communications school, nursing school, veterinary school, and its liberal arts programs, as well as its biomedical teaching and research capabilities. Its undergraduate program is also among the most selective in the country, with an acceptance rate of 9 percent. One of Penn's most well known academic qualities is its emphasis on interdisciplinary education, which it promotes through numerous double degree programs, university minors, research centers and professorships, a unified campus, and the ability for students to take classes from any of Penn's schools (the "One University Policy").

All of Penn's schools exhibit very high research activity. Penn is consistently ranked among the top research universities in the world, for both quality and quantity of research. In fiscal year 2015, Penn's academic research budget was $851 million, involving more than 4,300 faculty, 1,100 postdoctoral fellows and 5,500 support staff/graduate assistants. As one of the most active and prolific research institutions, Penn is associated with several important innovations and discoveries in many fields of science and the humanities. Among them are the first general purpose electronic computer (ENIAC), the rubella and hepatitis B vaccines, Retin-A, cognitive therapy, conjoint analysis and others.

Penn's academic and research programs are led by a large and highly productive faculty. Twenty-eight Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Penn. Over its long history the university has also produced many distinguished alumni. These include 12 heads of state (including one U.S. president); three United States Supreme Court justices plus a number of state Supreme Court justices; founders of technology companies, international law firms, and global financial institutions; and university presidents. According to a 2014 study, the University of Pennsylvania has produced the most billionaires of any university at the undergraduate level. Penn's endowment, at $10.1 billion as of June 30, 2015, is the ninth-largest university endowment in the United States.

... [more on wikipedia]

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "University of Pennsylvania", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0

University of Pennsylvania Details

University of Pennsylvania Details
detail value
conferenceIvy League
overall ROI rank[7
scores validTrue
Common Questions...

What are the academic rankings for University of Pennsylvania?

1. number 12 for Academics.

2. number 7 for ROI (Return on Investment).

What universities are similar to University of Pennsylvania?

1. Northwestern University

2. Harvard University

3. Stanford University

4. University of Chicago

5. University of Miami

6. Northeastern University

7. University of Notre Dame

National Academic Rankings

(summary of all ranking placements)

University of Pennsylvania National Academic Rankings

University of Pennsylvania National Academic Rankings
category rank scores difficulty smartest brainpower faculty research salary ROI overall ROI
Div1 Private81097611356
Ivy League565558313
New England Region68135513554
State of Pennsylvania112112121
Top Ten Top2501217239102716207
Top Ten Div1999778347
Top Ten Div1 Private899768346
Top Ten Ivy League565558313
Top Ten New England Region6775510524
Top Ten State of Pennsylvania112112121

Peer Universities / Similar Universities

(mathematically similar student body, size, academics, stem, salary... etc)

University of Pennsylvania Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Peer Universities, Similar Universities to University of Pennsylvania
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Harvard UniversityMassachusettsIvy LeaguePrivateElite210
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
University of MiamiFloridaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent4493
Northeastern UniversityMassachusettsColonial Athletic AssociationPrivateElite40109
University of Notre DameIndianaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite3112
University of VirginiaVirginiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3227
Emory UniversityGeorgiaUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3629
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicExcellent3764
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
Yale UniversityConnecticutIvy LeaguePrivateElite337
Princeton UniversityNew JerseyIvy LeaguePrivateElite411
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMichiganBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent1716
University of California-Los AngelesCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePublicExcellent2984
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWisconsinBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent3325
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent2417
SUNY at BinghamtonNew YorkAmerica EastPublicExcellent65125
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
Boston UniversityMassachusettsPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent45116
Washington University in St LouisMissouriUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite86
University of Southern CaliforniaCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite2281
Brown UniversityRhode IslandIvy LeaguePrivateElite2534
University of RochesterNew YorkUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent3993
Tufts UniversityMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite2334
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Wesleyan UniversityConnecticutNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite73137
Wellesley CollegeMassachusettsNew England Women's & Men's At...PrivateElite78158
Hamilton CollegeNew YorkNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite115153
Washington and Lee UniversityVirginiaOld Dominion Athletic ConferencePrivateElite11746
Pomona CollegeCaliforniaSouthern California Intercoll ...PrivateElite52125
Swarthmore CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateElite6748
Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicElite61
Villanova UniversityPennsylvaniaColonial Athletic Association ...PrivateExcellent9968
Southern Methodist UniversityTexasAmerican Athletic ConferencePrivateExcellent8073
College of William and MaryVirginiaColonial Athletic AssociationPublicExcellent5460
SUNY College at GeneseoNew YorkState University of New York A...PublicExcellent111184
Santa Clara UniversityCaliforniaWest Coast ConferencePrivateExcellent12398
Brandeis UniversityMassachusettsUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateExcellent46116
Bucknell UniversityPennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent13193
St Olaf CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent144127
Colgate UniversityNew YorkPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent9283
Lafayette CollegePennsylvaniaPatriot LeaguePrivateExcellent165106
Gettysburg CollegePennsylvaniaCentennial ConferencePrivateExcellent170148
Union CollegeKentuckyMid - South Conference / Appal...PrivateBelowAverage162178
Lewis & Clark CollegeOregonNorthwest ConferencePrivateExcellent179221
Macalester CollegeMinnesotaMinnesota Intercollegiate Ath ConfPrivateExcellent133146
Williams CollegeMassachusettsNew England Small College Ath ConfPrivateElite58161
Colorado CollegeColoradoSouthern Collegiate Athletic C...PrivateExcellent149160

Academic Peer Universities / Similar Academics

(mathematically similar academics)

University of Pennsylvania Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania Academic Peer Universities, Similar Academic Universities to University of Pennsylvania
match image university state conference public level rank overall ROI
Duke UniversityNorth CarolinaAtlantic Coast ConferencePrivateElite133
Ivy League (Average)-Ivy League-Conf-Elite-20
Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireIvy LeaguePrivateElite1921
Northwestern UniversityIllinoisBig Ten ConferencePrivateElite1113
Stanford UniversityCaliforniaPacific 12 ConferencePrivateElite917
Rice UniversityTexasConference USAPrivateElite204
Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgiaAtlantic Coast ConferencePublicElite61
University of ChicagoIllinoisUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite1014
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite742
Vanderbilt UniversityTennesseeSoutheastern ConferencePrivateElite148
Washington University in St LouisMissouriUniversity Athletic AssociationPrivateElite86
Cornell UniversityNew YorkIvy LeaguePrivateElite1539
Johns Hopkins UniversityMarylandCentennial ConferencePrivateElite1647
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMichiganBig Ten ConferencePublicExcellent1716